Businesses owned by diverse populations in the region will benefit from a holistic plan fostering enhanced support and growth, says the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.
Belinda Matthews Stenson, vice president of business inclusion, says a primary task for the chamber over the last three years has been diversifying its programming and resources to meet expanded needs of local businesses owned by minority populations, including women and veterans.
“Our Minority Business Partnership was launched 12 years ago with a focus on scalable minority-owned businesses generating more than $500,000 in annual revenue. However, we now have programs supporting start-up businesses in addition to women and veteran-owned businesses,” Stenson says. “Our efforts have expanded in different areas. We need an infrastructure indicative of who we are today.”
This strategic model is one of the charges for Stenson, who was recently promoted from her previous role of director of Minority Business Partnership. A longtime advocate for diversity and inclusion programs, Stenson says the chamber’s three access strategies include: access to capital; access to coaching and counseling; and access to customers and contracts. Available resources will go beyond the local region.